Gov. Andrew M. Coumo\’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology.
The plan would limit drilling to the deepest areas of the Marcellus Shale rock formation in an effort to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination.
Even within those regions — primarily Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga Counties — drilling would be permitted only in towns that agree to it and would be banned in Catskill Park, aquifers and nationally designated historic districts.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations in the administration are continuing.
The strategy has not been made final and details could change, but it has been taking shape over several months.
Since that announcement, the Cuomo administration has been deluged with tens of thousands of e-mails and letters mostly objecting to the process, which is better known as hydrofracking or fracking, and protesters have become a regular presence at the Capitol.
In hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, large amounts of sand, water and chemicals are injected deep underground at high pressures to extract natural gas from rock formations.
But concerns have persisted about the chemicals used in the process. Last year, for instance, federal regulators linked fracking to a contaminated water supply in part of central Wyoming.
Source: New York Times